chapter  5
12 Pages

The Psychology of Exercise in Retirees

ByJosephine Perry

Despite retirees theoretically having more time to exercise, it is caring responsibilities, volunteer work and an enhanced social calendar that seem to prevent regular activity from being undertaken. Some retirees who are highly motivated to exercise are stopped by injuries as they can occur more often at this age and can take longer to heal. A wider cultural issue is that retirees can feel excluded and like a ‘forgotten group’ where nothing is tailored for them. They feel too old for regular exercise programmes and too young for ones focused on older people. A key area for increasing engagement with retirees around the importance of including physical activity in their lives come through education, specifically the dissemination of accurate information to counter misperceptions such as fear of falling or believing the guidelines for physical activity (150 minutes a week) are too physically demanding and beyond their capabilities. Using social support effectively could make adhering to exercise much easier for retirees.